Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


The missing link in interoperability

Local and regional authorities often use incompatible databases and IT systems, so struggle to offer effective e-government services. The EU-funded TERREGOV project offers an affordable technology platform that enables vital interoperability.
Pilot trials show that the resulting e-services can reduce bureaucracy, identify fraud and deliver optimised services to citizens.

A few years ago Norbert Benamou, Director of Business Flow Consulting, was working for a large municipal authority in the south of France. He was astounded to discover how so little of the authority's work was conducted electronically.

“We found that people had difficulties referring citizens for appropriate social care simply because of the lack of electronic communication between departments and agencies. What's more, the databases in the different agencies were incompatible, so any attempt at developing e-services quickly led to disappointment. At best you could make requests electronically, but the requests then had to be processed manually.”

Encouraging interoperability
This experience encouraged Benamou to form the now EU-funded TERREGOV project to develop an IT solution that could be deployed at a regional level, allowing any authority within the region to “plug in” their applications and databases, link them up and provide valuable e-services to citizens.

“Many local authorities in Europe are extremely small and do not have the resources to develop complex solutions for e-services,” Benamou explains. “The TERREGOV platform makes it very simple. A local authority simply registers their specific applications on the system as a web service and TERREGOV more or less takes care of what information is transferred to the regional TERREGOV hub and who can access it.”

The bulk of the implementation falls to the larger regional authority, which has to customise and host the TERREGOV hub, select which e-services to develop and encourage the local authorities to change their working practices and “go electronic”.

The benefits of interoperable systems can be significant. At the regional level, TERREGOV helps public services to be delivered consistently by all local authorities, irrespective of their size, so there is no “postcode discrimination” for citizens. Local authorities, on the other hand, can use TERREGOV to deliver e-services at minimal cost without have to discard familiar, legacy systems.

Speedy service
But the biggest winner is the citizen who benefits from shorter processing times – in one TERREGOV trial, applications for unemployment benefits were processed in a few days instead of one month – and more “joined up” thinking. Instead of having to request a particular service, citizens can simply highlight a problem, and let the various public bodies collaborate to provide a solution.

An ongoing pilot of the TERREGOV platform in Regione del Veneto, for instance, is helping agencies to provide and coordinate social care tailored to each individual – interoperability produces a more detailed profile of each individual's needs.

In the Polish town of Czestochowa, the TERREGOV platform links databases in the local registry office, the district labour office and the city's social aid centre. Electronic access to these departments and census information will help the city practically to eliminate benefit fraud. Clerks can check for duplicate applications in the system even while the applicant is still sitting in the office.

Benamou believes that the economic benefits and improvements in efficiency that TERREGOV offers should encourage regional authorities to consider its deployment.

“The technologies available at present to achieve this level of regional integration vary from between €1 million and €10 million. The cost of TERREGOV implementation is more in the €100,000s. Interoperability is something that regional and local authorities can now afford, and ill-afford to ignore!”

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Green Light for Galaxy Europe
15.03.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Tokyo Tech's six-legged robots get closer to nature
12.03.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>